“More light”

Wie das Gestirn
Ohne Hast
Aber ohne Rast,
Drehe sich jeder
Um die eigne Last.

The middle two lines are more often translated (quoted) in English as, “Do not hurry, do not rest.”

Often taped over the desks of novelists and thesis writers, I think.

…Here’s a bit of a liberal translation by yours truly. Particularly the last two lines.

As the stars
Without haste
But without rest,
Turn each
To her own allotment.

– Goethe*

I think my version of the last two lines reads better than the more standard translation: “Let everyone carry about his own burden.” Less negative and prosaic, more elegant and more about one’s task or purpose in life.

*Poem or excerpt (?) found in Macmillan’s magazine, Volume 29. By David Masson, Sir George Grove, John Morley, Mowbray Morris.


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